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After initially showing the decrease as an increase, it seems Valve have now corrected the Steam Hardware Survey results for October 2018.

Originally, it showed as a 0.05% increase even though the figure in October 2018 for Linux is 0.72% compared to September's 0.78% so it's a decrease of 0.06% for people to argue over. This is after Valve fixed a rounding error for small distributions that they reported on October 4th. Keep in mind, they may adjust this figure again like they have a few times.

As a reminder, we have a dedicated page tracking various details including the reported Linux market share on Steam.

It's worth noting, again, that Steam is always growing. As an example of this, Valve reported in April 2018 that they had 43 million daily active users. However, Valve did a presentation back at the Melbourne Games Week last month where they reported that daily active figure to now be 47 million. So, between April and October they had an increase of 4 million daily active users. They're also now up to 90 million monthly active users, which is 23 million more than last year (source).

To give you some fun data points:

  • Linux daily active users around: 338,400.
  • Linux monthly active users around: 648,000.

The amount of growth Valve is getting is pretty incredible really. They don't seem to have given out a new total active amount of users for a while, but considering their growth it seems like it could be quite a lot compared to the 125 million figure they gave out back in 2015.

So do keep in mind, that while the share is lower overall, the figure it actually represents in terms of actual Linux users is quite likely to be still growing but being outpaced by new Windows users on Steam at the same time. I imagine it's going to take a lot for our growth to ever outpace Windows and push the reported share higher to a point where it's notable. Hopefully when Steam Play matures it might help, but it's far too early to tell.

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Edgarins29 2 November 2018 at 11:50 am UTC
Could it be that Steam beta doesn't trigger survey?
Jarno 2 November 2018 at 12:10 pm UTC
That survey thing is weird, shouldn't it notice if hardware changes?
Yesterday I got new PC and I did just put my old hard drives in it, fixed bootmanager, started using it and steam didn't pop up that survey.
Expalphalog 2 November 2018 at 12:31 pm UTC
JarnoThat survey thing is weird, shouldn't it notice if hardware changes?
Yesterday I got new PC and I did just put my old hard drives in it, fixed bootmanager, started using it and steam didn't pop up that survey.

I'm not sure what triggers it. I had a survey pop up a few weeks ago and hadn't change a darn thing.
silmeth 2 November 2018 at 12:37 pm UTC
I guess the upward trend for two months was all the people installing Steam on their work/home server/old laptop/virtual machine Linux boxes to check out Steam Play + Proton. Now the hype ends, and so we get back to our regular numbers.

Overall I get the impression that since Steam survey favours new installations, it is a better estimate of a time derivative of the marketshare (ie. the rate of change of the marketshare) than of the marketshare itself – it tells you more which systems/hardware configurations are growing and gaining users, not how much of the marketshare they actually currently have.
Jarno 2 November 2018 at 12:37 pm UTC
ExpalphalogI'm not sure what triggers it. I had a survey pop up a few weeks ago and hadn't change a darn thing.

Well, I got mine few months ago when I didn't change anything, just restarted steam.

Now when all but hard drives changed, I didn't get it.
Tori 2 November 2018 at 12:41 pm UTC
Edgarins29Could it be that Steam beta doesn't trigger survey?

I got the survey yesterday, using the beta client and no changes in my HW.
Nezchan 2 November 2018 at 1:01 pm UTC
Does the survey get trigered if you use Lutris as a launcher for Steam games?
liamdawe 2 November 2018 at 1:02 pm UTC
The survey has gone back to claiming the drop is an increase. Looks like it's having issues today.
stretch611 2 November 2018 at 1:41 pm UTC
Edgarins29Could it be that Steam beta doesn't trigger survey?
Its just as likely that the release branch doesn't trigger it as well.
danniello 2 November 2018 at 2:04 pm UTC
Sorry to say that, but Valve surveys are not reliable. If they do not know how to count/interpret surveys - perhaps they should outsource it to someone more reliable like steamdb.info.

But some data are sure without surveys - Linux gaming market is very small (almost no AAA new native titles plus abandon Linux port by many Indie developers means that even this virtual 648000 monthly Linux users it is not worth native port).

Linux native games even with Steam Proton is simply not enough to convince "average Windows/Mac user" to learn how to install Linux on his/her computer. Without some "big company" involved (Dell Steam Machines 2?) - I do not think that situation will change...
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